MECA and its member co-ops are conducting a first-of-its-kind, statewide employee education and training assessment this month. Results will be used to develop an in-state training program to be hosted by MECA later this year.
“We’re very good at using data to measure almost everything we do in the energy industry,” says Doug Snitgen, MECA executive vice-president. “But when it comes to selecting employee education and training opportunities, it’s very difficult to quantify what will have the greatest collective impact.”
MECA has worked very closely with the education and training team at NRECA to develop and test an assessment process that will help identify the most relevant in-state training opportunities for co-op employees. The assessment is based on the NRECA Electric Cooperative Competency Model, which was designed to help co-ops align the talent of their employees in three broad categories: Core Competencies, Role-Specific Competencies, and Supervisory, Management and Leadership Competencies.
The Michigan assessment has been pilot tested with a group of Cherryland and HomeWorks employees, and is now ready for the bigger task of collecting statewide data. Each participating co-op will ask its employees to complete an anonymous, online survey, then MECA will analyze the results and work with NRECA to develop an in-state training program. The training will be similar to NRECA certificate programs that MECA has hosted in previous years, but customized to address the unique needs of Michigan’s electric co-ops.
“It’s been a fun project because it’s part science and part art,” says Snitgen. “It’ll help us create a comprehensive training needs ‘gap analysis’ that we’ve never had available before, but there are also a lot of creative ways to interpret the data.”
While the primary goal of the assessment is to determine statewide training needs, the same data could be used to determine needs for individual co-ops, departments or job roles.